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Minnesota Vikings’ 2023 Interior Linebackers: Assessing the Potential of Young Players Asamoah, Dye, Pace Jr., and Kwenkeu

Are you ready for an in-depth analysis of the Minnesota Vikings’ interior linebacker position heading into the 2023 NFL season? With only Jordan Hicks as a proven player in the NFL, the team has high hopes for young players Brian Asamoah II, Troy Dye, Ivan Pace Jr., and William Kwenkeu. Learn about their potential, strengths, and weaknesses as we evaluate each player and discuss how they fit into Brian Flores’ defense. With plenty of opportunities for these young linebackers to step up and make an impact, we’ll explore what to expect from this crucial position in the coming years.

Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Brian Asamoah II (33) in action against the Detroit Lions during the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have an interesting group of interior linebackers heading into the 2023 season. With only Jordan Hicks as an established player in the NFL, there are plenty of opportunities for younger players to step up and make an impact.

Brian Asamoah II has a major opportunity in front of him after the Vikings released linebacker Eric Kendricks. Asamoah is an athletic linebacker who best fits as the Mike linebacker in Brian Flores’ defense. In this spot, Asamoah will be able to use his speed and change of direction to move from sideline to sideline making plays. The hope is that Asamoah’s rare athletic ability makes him one of the better linebackers in the NFL and gives the Vikings a long-term player at an important position.

Troy Dye is another young player with potential, but his frame is a major concern. While tall and long, only weighing 225 lbs is an issue. He struggles to get off blocks and gets washed out too often, even on special teams. The lack of development is concerning and could cost him a roster spot with three UDFA inside linebackers.

Ivan Pace Jr. is a very interesting player whose best trait is his pass-rushing ability. While his position is MLB, Pace could be utilized in a zero-blitz strategy that Brian Flores will employ. His quickness and ability to evade offensive linemen could make him a valuable subpackage player in year one. However, his size and lack of lateral athleticism could be a major hindrance to his playing as a modern-day inside linebacker.

William Kwenkeu is another intriguing player with a high level of athleticism that might be able to keep him on the roster, especially in Brian Flores’ defense. During his time with the Miami Dolphins, Flores often occupied faster linebackers, allowing them to go sideline-to-sideline to create plays. Kwenkeu could operate in a similar role for Flores. However, Kwenkeu only played six games last season, and addressing his lack of playing time is important given how many new faces have been added to the position group.

Overall, the interior linebacker position is a crucial one for the Vikings, and there are plenty of opportunities for younger players to step up and make an impact. The team will need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each player and determine the best way to utilize their skills. With a strong preseason, any of these young players could carve out a role as a rotational linebacker with special team assignments or even become a starter. It will be interesting to see how this group develops in the coming years. Tune in for more updates on the Minnesota Vikings’ interior linebacker position on The Real Forno Show!

 

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